Skip To Main Content

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Facts

Financial Aid is a general term encompassing different sources of money to help families pay for college.  It is money that the government and other organizations give you or lend you so you can pay for college. includes grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. As you apply to each college, be aware of financial aid deadlines for each school.


Types of Financial Aid:

Grants are called gift aid because they do not have to be paid back.  grants come from the federal and state government and from colleges. Federal government (Pell Grant), state government (Cal Grant), California College Promise Grant, California Dream Act, Incentive Grant Program, or from the college directly. Students may qualify for grants due to their financial or academic status. Grants do not need to be repaid. They are usually given based on your family's financial circumstances. 

  • Pell/Cal GrantsFederal Grants / CA State Grants are forms of financial aid that do not need to be paid back. Grants are usually awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree or professional degree. The amount of aid you receive depends on your financial need, the school’s cost of attendance, and other factors. ( certain exemptions apply for repayment) 
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)– FSEOG are grants for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. FSEOG are administered directly by the financial aid offices of participating schools.
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants– TEACH grants can help you pay for school if you plan to become a teacher and teach in high-need fields in low-income areas. In order to qualify for a TEACH grant, you must commit to teaching for a certain length of time.

Scholarships are also free money that you receive from colleges or outside private organizations. Most students earn scholarships because they have done something special they have great academic and personal achievements, they have volunteered, they are talented in some way, interested in a certain subject, have financial need, are underrepresented, STEM students, overcome a challenge, or just simply they want to pursue a certain career, etc. Scholarships can be earned directly from colleges or by applying to them on your own. There are also many online scholarship search sites, but keep in mind that you should never have to pay a company or individual for scholarship information.

College Work-Study programs are jobs offered by colleges that provide part-time employment while you are enrolled in school. Being awarded work-study does not guarantee employment, but students must indicate they are interested in work-study when submitting the FAFSA to be considered.

Loans are money that must be repaid. Loans are available from the federal government, private institutions, or colleges.  Borrowing money from a bank, government, or lending company is called taking out a loan.  a loan must be paid back with an extra charge in interest. The federal government offers low-interest loans to students with financial needs. Other lenders charge more interest. 

Federal Loans - The U.S. Department of Education has two federal student loan programs:

  • The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. There are four types of Direct Loans available:    
    • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. 
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.
    • Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.
    • Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program is a school-based loan program for undergraduates and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Under this program, the school is lender. 

PRIVATE LOANS are granted by private banks and may help to bridge the gap between the cost of your education and the amount of financial aid you receive from the government. Eligibility for private loans often depends on your credit score, and private loans tend to have higher interest rates than loans that the government offers. Students are encouraged to pursue all options for federal student aid before entering into a private loan.

WORK STUDY is a program where you can earn money that helps you pay for school. Work-study programs provide students with federally funded jobs on campus or at other approved locations. The campus facilities at many colleges and universities, including the student center, career center, athletic department, and residence halls, employ work-study students. However, the positions available and the pay offered vary widely.




filling out a FAFSA or CA Dream act
is super important! 

Your application will determine
your eligibility for financial Aid!

University, Community College, or Vocational programs 

Resources - California Student Aid Commission

     You can launch your FAFSA or Dream Act Application directly from

When you launch your financial aid application from, you will be able to:

  • Track whether you have launched, completed, and submitted your FAFSA or Dream Act Application.
  • See whether or not your school district has submitted your Cal Grant GPA to the California Student Aid Commission.
  • You will have your transcript data automatically populated in your Academic Planner. have FINANCIAL aid lessons that will help you understand:

  • How to find the cost of attending college.
  • What financial aid options are available.
  • How to apply for different types of financial aid.
  • How to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
  • How to choose the offers that best meet your needs.
  • What steps to take after submitting your financial aid application.
  • How to secure state aid.



You are eligible to complete the FAFSA if you are a:

- US Citizens 

- Legal Permanent Residents

- Eligible non-citizen (per FAFSA)

-T Visa holder, Click here for more information 

Step One: Click here to create an ID.  This can be done now. 
Step Two: Gather the necessary paperwork for both the parent and the student.

Step Three: Click on the red FAFSA button above to begin filing your application for the 24-24 school year ( Opening Dec. 2023)

Deadline April 2nd, 2024

You are eligible to complete the CA Dream Act if you qualify:

AB540/SB eligible Student:

- Undocumented 

- Have a valid or expired DACA

- U Visa holder 

-Have Temporary Protected Status TPS 

Step One: Gather the necessary paperwork for both the parent and the student.
Step Two: Click here or CA Dream Act button to begin filing your application for the 24-24 school year ( Opening Dec. 2023) 

California Grants 

Every student should create a WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) Account once they receive a notification that their application has been processed. This account allows students to manage their state-awarded financial aid. Click Here to create an account 


upcoming workshops